BMW has the 7 Series, Mercedes the S-Class and Audi the A8. Our operating report shows how VW parent company is doing.
Anyone who spends at least 100,000 euros on a car may not want to splurge on expensive jewelry, but they at least want to have a car that is completely modern.
This is not so easy for manufacturers of luxury sedans, because after a certain time, each car automatically falls behind new competitors in terms of technology and / or appearance.
First shown in 2017
In the case of the Audi A8, which was lifted at the end of last year and celebrated for the first time in 2017, this meant a similar return to the newest Mercedes S-Class, which was launched just a year and a half ago. .
Behind the unusual name of the model of our test car – Audi A8 60 TSFI quattro – hides a variant with a large V8 gasoline engine, which produces a massive 460 hp from a displacement of 4 liters. These numbers make it clear that Ingolstadt is not designed to save oil or other barrier.
This can also be seen in the optics, which has been slightly but noticeably modified by the facelift and is clearly not particularly adapted to European tastes. For example, the radiator grille, which has become wider and, in conjunction with the more popular lights, seems to require attention. That doesn’t necessarily appeal to the CEO of a German stock company, but it does concern Asians who have made money, and who usually attach more importance to presenting their economic success. Here Audi follows BMW’s line with its increasingly sharp grills, but without overdoing it like the people of Munich sometimes do.
Running lights at the back
The revised side view is very successful, with a class-leading body curve that slopes slightly towards the front at the level of the wheels. The rear, which is also only slightly modified, emphasizes the width of the car with its continuous strip of lights, which at 1.95 meters without exterior mirrors is even 3 centimeters more generous than that of the S-Class.
How good the Audi A8 was five years ago is also shown by the fact that the interior did not need to be changed and, as expected from this brand and especially from the flagship, it convinces with the best processing of information and user-friendliness. Only in direct comparison with the main competitor from Stuttgart does one realize that the cockpit is not as modern as in the S-Class. But for some autonomous drivers who are tired of tracking overkill, that might even be a reason to buy.
Many technical assistants
In fact, the A8 is not only beautifully decorated, but as the flagship of the brand, it also has all the usual technical aids that are available today. The anticipatory chassis, which detects bumps in the road at an early stage and prepares the air suspension appropriately and individually for each wheel, deserves a special mention. There is a new feature in the “Comfort+” setting. When cornering between 80 and 130 km/h, the car is slightly lifted out of the curve and slightly lowered in the opposite direction. This is to suppress lateral tilt.
The latest LED matrix technology is now also on board the Audi A8, which, in addition to its primary task of lighting very well, also manages several other things. For example, there is a path and a direction light. With its help, the driver can be guided safely through a narrow construction site.
Maximum speed of up to 250 km / h
Driving itself, especially long distances, is undoubtedly a pleasure, one is inclined to say: but with a base price of 120,500 euros (plus a number of extras from the list of options over 100 pages), it should be. The V8 either whispers at low speeds and about satisfying use, or gives the sportsman more pressure on the accelerator pedal, sprinting to 100 km/h in 4.4 seconds and further to 250 km/h seems effortless.
Well, let’s take this last one because we couldn’t manage more than 220 km/h. At the same time, the driver in his comfortable seat enjoys the pleasure of moving more than 2 tons of weight and 660 Newton meters of high torque as easily as if he were driving a small car. However, great pleasure also has its price. Fast drivers on the autobahn should count around 20 liters; despite the big restriction and “gentlemen driving”, we still needed more than 14 liters.
In this regard, one can consider a car like the Audi A8 to be outdated. That’s why he probably won’t find a direct heir again.
In about three years, Audi will launch an electric-only model, the Grandsphere, which is comparable in size. Then the newly revised A8, which now looks clean and modern again, will probably look very old all of a sudden. (SP-X)